pregnant woman

When Samantha Roy found out she was pregnant, she and her husband, Stephen, felt overjoyed.

The couple had tried for almost two years to get pregnant on their own. Then they turned to the Center for Fertility and Reproductive Endocrinology at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital for help. There, Samantha learned that she had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Her doctors prescribed medicine to help boost her ovulation.

Within a few months, Samantha was pregnant.

Photo credit: Sarah Ferrari Photo

Prenatal Care, Close to Home

Samantha, 30, received prenatal care from several health care providers at UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services in Wexford. The facility is minutes from her home in Franklin Park.

“Since I wasn’t sure which provider would be there to deliver my baby at UPMC Magee, I was able to meet and receive care from all of the doctors at the practice,” says Samantha, who works in the Human Resources Department at UPMC. “It was a great experience. Everyone was very friendly, and I felt that I was in good hands.”

At 35 weeks, doctors diagnosed Samantha with gestational hypertension, a mild form of high blood pressure.

“One of the risks of gestational hypertension is that the mother can develop a condition called preeclampsia,” says Katherine Bunge, MD, an ob-gyn at Magee-Womens Specialty Services. “This can be dangerous to both mother and baby. Usually, patients develop it at the end of their pregnancy or sometimes right at the time of delivery.”

To lower the possibility of preeclampsia, Dr. Bunge decided it would be best to induce Samantha’s labor at 37 weeks.

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A COVID-19 Diagnosis

Soon after her gestational hypertension diagnosis, Samantha tested positive for COVID-19.

Samantha worried about how the virus could affect herself and her baby. She went to UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital for monoclonal antibody treatment the next day. There, she also got the extra antenatal testing recommended for women diagnosed with gestational hypertension through the hospital’s triage unit.

“Getting vaccinated at the beginning of my pregnancy helped to reduce my symptoms,” Samantha says. “But I still felt completely drained. Within a few days after receiving the antibodies, though, I started to feel much better.”

The hospital could treat Samantha’s COVID-19 in a manner to keep her, her baby, and other patients safe.

“We have the resources to not only care for pregnant patients with COVID-19, but to do so while keeping other hospital patients safe,” Dr. Bunge says. “Thanks to the monoclonal antibodies that Samantha received, she was able to recover quickly. That allowed us to avoid postponing her delivery.”

A Quick Delivery

Before Samantha knew it, it was time to deliver her baby. She received medicine to start labor contractions.

“When I started dilating, the process went very quickly,” says Samantha. “Within an hour or so, it was time to start the delivery. Then, 36 minutes later, our baby boy arrived.”

Samantha and Stephen welcomed their first child, Weston, on Sept. 26, 2021.

A Rare Postpartum Condition

Once home from the hospital, doctors instructed Samantha to take her blood pressure every day using a simple blood pressure cuff. It’s convenient for new moms – and can be lifesaving.

Days later, Samantha noticed her blood pressure readings seemed high. She contacted Dr. Bunge, who encouraged her to return to the hospital. There, she was diagnosed with postpartum preeclampsia.

“Postpartum preeclampsia is rather rare,” Dr. Bunge says. “For that reason, we readmitted her to get her blood pressure under control.”

After discharge from the hospital, Samantha continued to track her blood pressure daily.

“Due to the frequent fluctuation of my blood pressure, we decided it would be best to have my readings done in person,” Samantha says. “I went back to Magee-Womens Specialty Services in Wexford five days a week for the first six weeks after having the baby. It was convenient, too, since the office is so close to my home.”

Samantha had a rare case that needed extra care.

“Most women don’t develop postpartum preeclampsia,” Dr. Bunge says. “Plus, most people don’t need to come so frequently to our office, especially with a newborn at home. But Samantha needed close follow-up, and that’s what we did.”

One Happy Family

Samantha and Stephen say they are very grateful for the care their family received throughout their pregnancy journey.

“I’m glad that Dr. Bunge is so accessible,” Samantha says. “I was able to reach out to her with questions or concerns, which was a lifesaver. As a high-risk patient, it was very comforting to know that the right people were taking care of me. I was never left in the dark.”

UPMC’s strong network of pediatric care north of Pittsburgh and beyond allows Samantha’s family to continue to receive top-notch medical care, right in their neighborhood. Baby Weston now regularly sees Virginia Hofmann, CRNP, a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics at UPMC Children’s Community Pediatrics – Pittsburgh Pediatrics, Wexford office.

To schedule a visit with UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services, visit our website.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

About UPMC Magee-Womens

Built upon our flagship, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh, and its century-plus history of providing high-quality medical care for people at all stages of life, UPMC Magee-Womens is nationally renowned for its outstanding care for women and their families.

Our Magee-Womens network – from women’s imaging centers and specialty care to outpatient and hospital-based services – provides care throughout Pennsylvania, so the help you need is always close to home. More than 25,000 babies are born at our network hospitals each year, with 10,000 of those babies born at UPMC Magee in Pittsburgh, home to one of the largest NICUs in the country. The Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Magee in Pittsburgh as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health; U.S. News & World Report ranks Magee nationally in gynecology. The Magee-Womens Research Institute was the first and is the largest research institute in the U.S. devoted exclusively to women’s health and reproductive biology, with locations in Pittsburgh and Erie.